Skip to main content


LAW1120 : Public Law (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth
  • Lecturer: Dr Conall Mallory, Dr Joshua Jowitt, Professor Ian Ward, Professor Rhona Smith, Dr Semande Ayihongbe, Ms Anna Jobe, Dr Helene Tyrrell
  • Teaching Assistant: Mrs Lucinda Hudson
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0


1. To acquire knowledge and understanding of the general principles of Constitutional and Administrative Law set within a wider context of politics, and political theory.

2. To develop critical and legal analytical skills.

The module introduces students to the underlying principles and structures of the UK constitution and to the law relating to the rights of the citizen against the state. Topics include - basic constitutional values: liberal democracy, the rule of law and the separation of powers; parliamentary supremacy and structure: legal, political and administrative accountability; and human rights.

Outline Of Syllabus

The specific knowledge base will extend to the following:

1. Introduction to the main traditions of political theory.
2. The sources of the constitutions. The structure of the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom.
3. The doctrines of the Rule of Law and Separation of Powers.
4. The doctrine of the legislative supremacy of parliament.
5. The constitutional impact of the European Union and devolution.
6. Parliamentary government and political accountability.
7. Introduction to administrative law.
8. Adminstrative accountability, including the Parliamentary Ombudsman and audit of central government.
9. The nature of judicial review.
10. The grounds for judicial review.
11. Applying for judicial review and remedies.
12. The protection of human rights and civil liberties.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture601:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1328:00328:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship


PRIVATE STUDY to be divided between preparing for lectures and seminars, consolidation, essay and presentation preparation and writing, and revision.

The principal teaching method is lectures. These aim to provide an overview of the background and main principles, examples of reasoning methods, and an introduction to the main contorversial issues. Preparation is guided and supported by detailed handouts in advance of the lectures. The seminars provide the opportunity to develop oral, analytical and critical skills. Discussion is structured to consider questions focusing on key principles and problem areas. Private study takes the form of directed study in advance of lectures, consolidation following lectures, and preparation for seminars and the research and writing of coursework. Students are encouraged to undertake further self-directed research.

'Drop-in/surgery' contact time is provided in this module as part of the Law School assessment and feedback policy such that markers and/or module leaders will offer the opportunity for one-to-one oral feedback on students' written work, in addition to written feedback on coursework front sheets and generic class feedback. The time given above is merely indicative and more time may be scheduled if necessary to meet the demand for individual feedback.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1352A65Students will be required to answer three questions from a choice of eight.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M252000 words
Prof skill assessmnt2M10Group Presentation Exercises
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1M1000 words
Written Examination1AMidsessional examination covering LAW1120 and LAW1121. Length: 90 minutes. Students will be required to answer 2 out of 2 questions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment is an unseen examination, coursework essay and group presentations. All three provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a broad range of topics within the syllabus. They also provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their critical, analytical and evaluative skills, and their ability to write and present orally with care and precision, and to structure their argument and analysis.

Students are required to write one essay for formative assessment purposes. This essay provides students with the opportunity to test their knowledge and understanding of discrete topics and to practice their written skills and the cognitive skills of analysis, synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation.

Students are required to sit one examination for formative assessment purposes. The examination will include one question for LAW1110 and one question for LAW1121, and will provide students with the opportunity to experience university examination conditions, to test their knowledge and understanding of discrete topics and to practice their written skills and the cognitive skills of analysis, synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation.

Reading Lists